Wallet Abuse Weekly is too Damned Busy Playing Games!

No intro today; I’ve spent most of this week playing videogames instead of attending to my important Nitrobeard duties and will be otherwise occupied Saturday. That’s alright though, because this week’s games are good enough that you don’t really need a theme to keep you occupied; in fact if you’re reading this instead of playing Portal 2 you’re probably doing something wrong anyway.



Conduit 2
Developer: High Voltage Software
Publisher: Sega
Platforms: Nintendo Wii

Clearly someone is at fault for the presence of The Conduit 2 instead of Mad World 2 or House of the Dead Overkill 2 or... any other halfway decent Sega Wii game. Are we to blame Wii owners for buying the first Conduit? Did these same people not buy Metroid Prime: Corruption?

Or is Sega itself to blame? Certainly they’ve shown a remarkable ability to make poor business decisions, as evidenced from finding the one studio on the face of the Earth capable of fucking up Golden Axe to refusing to put Chu Chu Rocket on XBLA to every single Sonic game produced since 1994.

Perhaps The Conduit 2 represents the perfect storm of poorly-thought-out game greenlighting. Enough hardcore Wii owners were tricked into the prospects of a “real” dedicated FPS for Sega, who all the business acumen of a coked out Amish pig farmer, to think that there was actual money to be made in producing a second Conduit game. After all, Nintendo fans are gullible-- these are the same people responsible for buying eleven different Mario Party games.

This is the part of the article where I step back a bit and reflect that perhaps I’m being too hard on a game that I’ve no intention of playing, although that’s sort of the entire premise behind Wallet Abuse. Sure, the first Conduit was pure unadulterated trash

But y’know, after two years and a full-fleged game under their belt, maybe High Voltage Software have improved their game. And their games.

Well. Something like that anyway. The Conduit 25 GOTY 2059 BELIEVE



Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection
Developer: Matrix Software/ Square Enix
Publisher: The unprofitable arm of Square Enix
Platforms: PlayStation Portable

Dearest Japan:



I’ve never understood Square’s obsession with the first sixteen-bit Final Fantasy game, as this game lacks Setzer Gabbiani and is thus clearly the inferior SNES Final Fantasy game. The “Complete Collection” moniker relates to the inclusion of Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, y’know, provided you were interested in paying thirty dollars for a cell phone game.



Mortal Kombat
Developer: Nether Realm Studios
Publisher: Warner Brothers
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

I would not hold it against you if you judged the newest Mortal Kombat against Midway’s more recent Mortal Kombat offerings-- MK th 90’s media experience aged as well as Wilson Phillips, with the last unqualified good Mortal Kombat game probably being MK3/Ultimate/Trilogy, and the combination of MK4/Special Forces/Mythologies would ruin the franchise’s credibility for nearly a decade and a half. The PS2 offerings were okay at best, with the best distinction of that era being a rather remarkably good Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo clone packaged with Mortal Kombat: Deception.

To call the newest Mortal Kombat a reboot is possibly too light a word. It is a revitalization. Mortal Kombat 9 isn’t “good for a Mortal Kombat”; it is legitimately a good videogame. The turnaround from previous MK efforts is remarkable; I’m not sure I’ve seen the like in the realm of videogames. If you were a fan of the 2d Mortal Kombat games from the arcades, I invite you to get hold of the MK9 demo currently available for the PS3; MK9 may well be the best Mortal Kombat ever made.

Now if you’re the type who hears “..May well be the best Mortal Kombat game ever made” and then roll your eyes in derision well... you’re not going to like this Mortal Kombat either. Play Street Fighter 4 instead, it is still the superior HD 2d fighter.

For everyone else, the people who don’t have strong opinions either way for the Mortal Kombat franchise, be aware that MK9 presents that most rare element for a 1v1 fighter-- a worthwhile single player component. There’s an actual coherent narrative that takes place during the dedicated story mode, and the Challenge Tower presents enough weird random stipulations that you’re not going to be easily bored with this game. This is on top of the rather excellent vs CPU mode. Basically if you were looking for a 1v1 fighter and were disappointed in Marvel 3-- well, if you prefer online vs Human competition, then you’ll probably be happier with Super Street Fighter 4. Otherwise, try this.



Portal 2
Developer: Valve
Publisher: Valve
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 ohcomonbeserious The Freaking Personal Computer

I’m now going to say something that will cause a great many of you to storm the Peer1 data farm hosting the Squarespace servers and set it ablaze, and rightfully so.

I’ve never played Portal 1.

It’s probably going to be a while before I play Portal 2.

However I promise you I will play Portal 2 at some point this year, as Portal 2 is quite probably Game of the Year regardless of my own opinion on the subject.

Now, I don’t say these things to rile up anger or just to be contrarian. I full well recognize the excellence inherent in the Portal series and it’s impact upon gaming culture. Thing is, I hate puzzle games. Every time I play a puzzle game there’s some weird inconsistent arbitrary bullshit that me to get inside the developer’s head, and I hate that. Any time a game devolves to the point where I need to resort to youtube is the point where I wander off to play arcade games for the next six hours.

But that’s just me! I’m dumb and regressive like that. You meanwhile, the reader, you need to buy this game. Stop reading this. Go. Shoo. Leave me in my shame.



Price of Persia Classic Trilogy HD
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal (The Good Ubisoft)
Publisher: Regular ol’ Bad Ubisoft
Platforms: PlayStation 3


My favorite unheralded development of this console generation has been-- well, its been Sega’s sputtering efforts to put Dreamcast-era Arcade games on XBLA. But my second favorite unheralded development of this console generation has been these Sony-exclusive HD triple packs. There’s a lot of gaming concepts that need to be kept fresh in the gaming public’s mind, and it provides a nice secondary market for other
wise overlooked stuff like the past few Tomb Raider games.

This particular collection consists of the 3 PS2-era Price of Persia games, or as they’re better known “The Good Prince of Persia Games”. Well, provided you ignore Warrior Within. Sands of Time is an unquestioned classic, and The Two Thrones is unfairly overlooked due to the rather regrettable direction the series took with Warrior Within.

That second game though, that’s a problem. See, you desperately do not want to play Warrior Within. Not ever. It will sour you not only toward Prince of Persia, but possibly also videogames and man’s humanity towards man. Warrior Within is the sort of game that will cause more fragile souls to abandon hearth and home to live out the rest of their days in blissful seclusion from the warped, diseased people responsible for creating Warrior Within, what with its heavy rock soundtrack and metal thongs and utterly impossibly punishing tutorial level.

Now ordinarily this would not be an issue; you could just play Sands of Time and The Two Thrones while screaming “LA LA LA LA I CAN’T SEE YOU” while selecting between the two. But both Sands of Time HD and The Two Thrones HD are available on the PlayStation Store for $15 each. This disc is $40. It makes no sense whatsoever to buy this disc. Admittedly this is postulating some point in the future when Sony gets PSN back online.



Socom 4
Developer: Zipper Interactive
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America
Platforms: PlayStation 3

Yay generic bro-op. Here, I can’t be bothered to find out anything about this game, but I want you all to take a look at this:


  • Carnival Games: Monkey See, Monkey Do

Seriously, that was it


  • *Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga
  • *Fantastic Pets
  • *And.. um. Rio.

Now allow us to take a look into the future:





Notice what you don’t see there? No big-budget AAA HD console titles. No bro-op shooters. No Portal 2. In fact this week is the only notable week for most of an entire month. Notice what else you don’t see in this list?

Now I’m not saying Socom 4 is being sent out to die-- well okay it is, but I’m not sure SCEA is aware they sent Socom 4 out to die. I mean, maybe Sony is vaguely aware of the completely horrible timing of Socom 4, perhaps relayed during conference calls with Zipper Interactive where the developers of the game screamed and wailed and set themselves aflame when the release date was brought up, but for the most part Sony appears entirely aloof as to their own release schedule. This is even more distressing as

  •  The PlayStation 3 was the lead console for both MK9 and Portal 2 and
  •  The entire Playstation Network has experienced frequent outages for the past couple weeks. Meaning that Socom 4’s entire premise has been rendered pointless through much of its existence.

Which, y'know, at least Zipper's back to keep that much of the Socom tradition around at least.